Poem for Faith and Graham

Wedding of Faith & Graham, Nikon D90 photo by SCPotter

Wedding of Faith & Graham, Nikon D90 photo by SCPotter

Your love today,
Down Virginia way,
The family shared,
And all who cared,
Came to say,
We give this day,
Our hearts are one,
And through His Son,
Your love will grow,
And all will know,
The joy you get,
Is the joy you sow.

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Last Saturday I was in Fairfax Virginia, sitting in the front row of the Truro Anglican Church, and serving as witness to a lovely joining of souls. My niece, her fiancé and the historic church, filled with the music of a solo violin, made for an exceptionally beautiful wedding.

The church has huge arched windows on all sides and the patterns of sun and light, and views of greenery outside filled the space with a deep peace and reverence for Life.

During the reception, the guests were asked to write comments for the newlyweds on little 2”x3” cards; words of wisdom, etc. I started off thinking a tweet poem would be nice, but as the words tumbled out it barely squeezed onto the card; much too long to be tweet-able.

Faith and Graham, may you have a long and happy life together.

This Autumn Day

Gingko biloba, in my own front yard.

Gingko biloba, in my own front yard.

Beneath the Gingko’s golden glow,
Reflecting lightly the year’s demise,
I found myself longing a deeper path,
The way, the want, the course to know.

Embracing all, the lifting sky,
Allowed aloft a lingering muse,
“When, if not now?” the clouds implore.
A moment’s Chance rolls by.

Break step the crushing mindless march!
Come about and lean renewed,
A tack held by the steady hand,
Of heart’s true love insured.

A clearing breeze this autumn day,
Restores where things belong,
Gives breath abroad eternal truth,
The tree, the sky, the heart are one.

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Notes:
I wrote this on Sept 30, 2010; just now getting all my misc bits of poetry moved to one place.

Gingko – A unique species of tree with no close living relatives (also known as the Maidenhair Tree). The tree is widely cultivated and has various uses as a food and traditional medicine. Its leaves turn a bright yellow in autumn. (See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba )

Break step – A command given to marching soldiers prior to crossing a bridge. It causes them to immediately change from their uniform and synchronized pace, to one which is random. This prevents the introduction of potentially destructive resonances into the structure of the bridge.

Come about – An expression used by sailors which means: to change course abruptly and dramatically. It requires a fast turn, steering into the wind, adjusting to the new direction and changing the way the sails are set to match the new course. This is also associated with “taking a new tack”; i.e. a new direction.

6:00 am in the Martin Grove

Photo by Jaber Al Nahian (Rijans)

Photo by Jaber Al Nahian (Rijans)

East Indian man,
Through bus stop glass,
Greets the morning sun.
Fingers wrap the heart’s Desire,
Another day to serve the One.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
That’s the beginning of the poem; the part I tweeted on May 10, 2013.

Earlier that day, while driving to work, I saw a solitary, humble prayer being offered up amidst the chaos of Toronto’s morning rush hour. When I saw his lips moving I had to turn away, and regretted my intrusion on his sacred place. But I do remember the glow on his face, his upright posture, and his gently clasped hands. The few silver streaks of hair told me he was about my age.

A few days later I learned more about the factory collapse in Bangladesh, and I wondered who his prayers were for.

Of course it’s completely presumptuous for me to assume some connection between the prayer of a stranger and a tragedy half a world away. But somehow I feel the connection was there.

For about 15 seconds, at Eglinton and Martin Grove, this stranger and I were introduced by Chance. Now I look for him every morning, but have never seen him since. I wish him well.